You are here: Home - News -

Accountant in Sale and Rent Back £300m mortgage fraud ring escapes jail

  • 01/12/2015
  • 0
Accountant in Sale and Rent Back £300m mortgage fraud ring escapes jail
The accountant who took part in the £300m Sale and Rent Back mortgage fraud ring which saw four people sentenced to jail has avoided prison.

The unqualified accountant, Peter Wardle 68 from Witton-le-Wear County Durham, was handed an 18-month suspended jail sentence and curfew for his role in the crimes yesterday at Teeside Crown Court, The Northern Echo reported.

The fraud ring was led by 57-year-old David Purdie of Dunston, Gateshead. He used two companies to commit the fraud: North East Property Buyers and a packaging firm Newcastle Home Loans. Wardle was in charge of the accounting for both companies.

The gang scammed up to £300m from mortgage lenders by submitting false mortgage applications on up to 2,400 properties which involved inflating property prices, gifting deposits and overstating the amount of rental income properties could generate.

Wardle’s barrister, James Bourne-Arton, told the court that the accountant’s role was in the back office. He said this meant Wardle’s part in the con was ‘very different from the others’ and was ‘more passive’ because he was ‘just recording figures’.

The scheme collapsed after five years, around the time of the financial crisis, when the defendants could no longer afford to keep up with repayments which resulted in tenants of the properties being left with nowhere to live when homes were repossessed.

The QC prosecuting in Wardle’s case, Jane Bewsey, told the court: “The scale of this fraud was truly massive. There are many many losers. Individuals have been severely affected by the fallout from the collapse of this dishonest scheme.”

The four fraudsters sentenced to jail in October were Purdie who received five years and six months and Michael Foster, 43 from Houghton listed as a director of North East Property Buyers, received three years and nine months.

Linda Patterson, 57 from Newcastle, who worked as an underwriter received three years and two months. All three admitted conspiracy to defraud. The fourth member, chartered surveyor Steven Keay, 54 from Sunderland, was sentenced to 23 months.

Both Keay and Wardle were found guilty of furnishing false information.

There are 0 Comment(s)

You may also be interested in

Business Skills

In this section, we offer short ‘how to’ guides on harder to crack areas of business. From social media, to regulation or niche product areas, we cover it all.


Our journalists interview key industry entrepreneurs, strategists and commentators for day-to-day market insight and a strategic view of where the industry is heading. We offer lessons for success and explore the opportunities for your business

Success in Practice

Here, we share case studies fleshing out best practice to help you decide what could work for your business. Take a look at how others approached complex tasks like launching a new mortgage lender, advising on a new product area or deciding to specialise in another. Learn from others mistakes and triumphs.


Each week, we ask top mortgage and property commentators with a unique perspective to examine a key news headline, market move or regulatory or political issue.


Vote in our weekly poll here. It’s your chance to tell us what you think and be heard on the top news stories of the week. Review our archive to find out what your industry really thinks and all our coverage of the results.

Top Comments

Be part of the conversation on Mortgage Solutions. We want to hear from you. We have a tool called Disqus to tell us which stories get the most comments each week. Every Friday, the team picks the most thoughtful or opinionated contributions from our readers to enjoy again. Don’t forget to share your favourite stories from the site on social media to keep the conversation going.
  • RT @robjupp: Great day yesterday for donations to @MortSleepOut. With Gift Aid, we are now close to £17,000. It would be great to get to £2…

Read previous post:
Percentage symbols tumble around a house
FCA: Q2 intermediary mortgage share at 67%

Financial Conduct Authority figures confirm mortgage advisers placed 67% of the mortgage market in Q2 this year, as consumers continue...